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JS Bach

Vocal Works


Bach's six surviving motets indicate that he composed this type of piece only for special occasions; four are for funerals or memorials, and one for a birthday. The German texts are drawn predominately from the Bible and chorale literature. The pieces are variously scored for four to eight choral voices (no soloists); the eight-voices works are for double choir. Bach provided an orchestral accompaniment for one motet (No. 2), and a continuo part for one other (No. 6). 

Cantatas. Bach composed cantatas for special occasions, with both sacred and secular texts.

Passions. Including the St. John and St. Matthew Passions.

Church music with Latin texts. Latin church music intended for special feast days.
Oratories. Including the Christmas, Easter and Ascension Oratorios.

Motets. Written for special occasions with German text.